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They do not impart deep and exact knowledge; they merely skim the surface of subjects, and afford a crude disjointed acquaintance with a few technical terms, or at best a few obvious rudiments.
We cannot conclude these strictures which we have hazarded chiefly because it would be quite out of rule to pass a criticism which should be all commendation,-without mentioning that Mr. Sortain has interspersed throughout his lecture several valuable quotations, which have the somewhat upcommon merit of not being quite stale--not being quite worn threadbare. The hackneyed citations, poetical and even philosophical, with which we are generally treated, have become almost a nuisance, and really ought to have some repose. Some tiine ago, we made for our amusement-but we cannot now inflict it on our readers—a list of those which no man ought at present to be allowed to employ without undergoing a penalty. It would be no slight service to the elegant extracts of literature to place before the eyes of young aspirants a good index prohibitorius-if so barbarous an expression be pardonable-of the quotations which should be laid on the shelf for a temporary slumber-quieily consigned to oblivion for a hundred years, that so they might come out again, trebly beautiful in their freshness, for the benefit of future generations.
Mr. Sortain, we have no doubt, will excuse the freedom with which we have dissented froin one or two of his opinions; and, for the rest, we have only to congratulate the college in which he has been appointed philosophical tutor.
An Introduction to a Course of Lectures on the Early Fathers, now in delivery
in the University of Cambridge. By the Rev. J. J. Blunt, B.D. Margaret
Professor of Divinity. Cambridge: Deightons. London: Parker. 8vo. Pp. 52. In the hope of being able in our next number to notice as it deserves this able and admirable Lecture of Professor Blunt, we shall only say that it is well calculated to sustain and even increase the high reputation of that accomplished writer and distinguished Divine.
Recreations in Geology. By Rosina M. Zornlin. London: Parker. 1839. Miss ZORNlin has distinguished herself by this volume, in the science of Geology, somewhat as Mrs. Somerville, in Astronomy. We cannot say that it surpasses either in simplicity of statement or truth of theory, the introduction of De la Bêche, Philips, or Lyell; nevertheless it cannot fail to interest the oldest students, and it will not mislead the least initiated in the science. It fully realizes the fair author's object of presenting the leading features of Geology in a simple and concise form; embracing a systematic arrangement (as far as at present determined) of the rocks and strata of the earth's crust, and a general view of its fossil organic contents. We quarrel only with her plan of commencing with the ascending instead of the descending series; Geology, hitherto, is not sufficiently determinate in its principles, to justify the synthetic mode of communicating its discoveries.
The Character of St. Paul the Model of the Christian Ministry. Four Sermons
preached before the University of Cambridge, in February, 1840. By Thomas ROBINSON, M.A. of Trinity College, Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic, and
late Archdeacon of Madras. Cambridge: Deightons. London: Parker. Though we cannot say that the mantle of Bishop Heber has descended upon Mr. Robinson, his faithful companion and chaplain,-yet we can yield to him the meed of kindred elegance, and force, and piety, and especially missionary fervor. In these four discourses, he, with much tact, his fidelity still unimpaired, descants upon “St. Paul the student and convert," "St. Paul the governor of the Church."-By these divisions, it will be seen, the most characteristic features of this great apostle are brought under our review. We fervently thank God, that sermons so pious in sentiment, so forcibly practical, and bearing so closely upon the clerical profession, have been delivered before such an audience. The close of the last will be a favourable specimen of the pathos and object of all the four.
Meditate, I beseech you, with more earnest and profound attention, this example of the great apostle ; for to you it is specially addressed. And if, when your minds are thus prepared, and your hearts thus opened for that service, whatever it may be, to which his wisdom shall appoint you,- if then you should hear the call of those you have loved and honoured, of the church in whose bosom you have been born and nourished, to go forth to other lands, the heralds of salvation,-fear not to obey the call. Take with you, in that highest and holiest enterprise, this same example of the apostle of the Gentiles; and, like him, remember that no talents are too precious, no offering too costly, no sacrifice too great for such an altar. Go in the very spirit and power of the apostle, in the fulness of the Gospel of Christ. Go! and may the Saviour himself stand by to consecrate the service which he himself commands; and when the day of your earthly pilgrimage is closing, perhaps on the sands of Southern India, with no hand to close your dying eyes,-even then you will not faint, for you will remember that your feet are in the very footprints of the martyrs and apostles of the Lord, whose blood was poured forth, as the last and holiest libation, upon the sacrifice of the Gentile world.
As exbibiting an admirable model of a christian minister, and as an excellent companion to Mr. Blunt's Lectures on St. Paul, we most cordially recommend these Discourses.
Seminaries of Sound Learning and Religious Education. The Commemoration
Sermon preached in Trinity College Chapel, on Monday, Dec. 16, 1839. By JOSEPH WILLIAM BLAKESLEY, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of the College. Cam
bridge: Deightons. London: Parker. This is an exquisitely classical, and, at the same time, reverentially christian eulogium upon that union of sound learning and religious education, for which our universities are so distinguished. We have rarely read anything more severely beautiful-taking into account the peculiarity of the occasion for which it was composed, and the necessary limitation of topics for illustration. We trust it will obtain a wider circulation than its strictly collegiate character might claim for it.
It is indeed a noble and just boast, when, without any invidious distinction from the sister colleges, and most probably having in his eye those universities on the continent, which, from being the nurseries of learning and sound religious feeling, have become the handmaids of the most vicious, gratuitous incredulity, he says:
Now I do not know any form of words wherein the true principle on which this our Society is established, can be more distinctly set forth, than that by which on all public occasions we are accustomed to describe it, and others which are analogous to it in their constitution and operation, namely, as a seminary of sound learning and religious education. In this brief formula are comprised, as I apprehend, the essential characteristics of this foundation. We have in it the distinct recognition of two separate objects, to the furtherance of which we consider ourselves as pledged, and to the co-ordinate importance of which (as respects us in our collective capacity) we bear a testimony, by the fact of imploring the divine blessing, in the most public and solemn manner, conjointly upon both. There is nothing in this, our acknowledged definition and description, which argues any antagonism between the two objects,--- nothing which implies (so far as we are concerned) a subordination of the one to the other, or under any circumstances, an extinction of either. And our practice is only a confirmation of our theory in this respect. Every day brings us our religious exercises, and every day brings us also our secular studies. Looking back through the three centuries which have been witnesses of our existence, we still find nothing but the strictest conformity with this principle. Sometimes the VOL. XXII. NO. V.
importance of the one half of it may have been more strongly felt or more complaisantly regarded; sometimes the other may have forced itself into a temporary pre-eminence; but the balance has never been finally lost : we have never degenerated into the character either of a foreign university, or a Protestant monastery ; we have neither abandoned the characteristics of a religious foundation, nor lost those of a learned one. We have never bowed the knee before qualities merely intellectual, or attainments of however great extent, in cases where the relations of man to man, and of man to God have remained unrecognized; neither have we ever covered our eyes from the light of knowledge in the fear of what it might reveal to us. We have ever accepted the results of scientific investigation and of critical research with confidence and joy; we have never dared to tamper with truth in whatever guise she has appeared; we have never given vent to the dread, that the interests of religion might possibly suffer from the increase of information, or that the mental powers could be impaired by the possession of religious faith. The haunts of Newton and Porson have never been profaned by that spirit of falsehood and fear which imprisoned Galileo, and strove to stifle the immortal thoughts of Vico and Niebuhr.-Pp. 7, 8.
Sin Found Out. A Sermon, on occasion of the late Murder in Islington,
preached in the Chapel of Ease, Islington, on Sunday Evening, March 22, 1840. By John HAMBLETON, M.A., Minister of the said Chapel. Published
by particular request. London : Seeleys and Hatchard. Among the excellencies which, under God, have made Mr. H. one of the most useful, as well as popular preachers of the day, is a peculiar tact of rendering passing events instrumental to the great ends of his ministerial office-the conversion and sanctification of the people entrusted to his charge. His sermons in general abound with allusions of this nature; but this one was preached expressly on the occasion of the late atrocious murder in Islington, and is now published at the request of the congregation before whom it was delivered. It will be found eminently characteristic of its author, and is likely, under the divine blessing, to be productive of much spiritual good.
Apostolic Instruction Exemplified in 1 John. M'Neile's Lectures on the Estab. Church. 8vo.6s. Foolscap 8vo. 6s.
Marriott's Lecture at the Diocesan College, Cni. Bingham's Works. Vol. ix. 8vo. 128.
chester, ls. Clark's (P. P.) Plain Sermons. 12mo. cloth. 6s. Memoir of Sarah J. I. W. Alexander. 2d edit. Colonial Magazine. Nos. 3 and 4. 28. 6d. each. 28, 6d. Crosthwaite's (J. C.) Sermons. 12mo. 78. 6d. Memoir of Rev. D. Rowlands. Foolscap 8vo. 58. Dallas's Cottager's Guide to New Testament. Memoirs, &c. of Sir S. Romilly. 3 vols. 8vo. Vol. iii. 38. 6d.
11. 10s. Faber's Tracts on the Church and Prayer Book. Miracles of our Lord Explained. 24mo. 2s.6d. 28. 6d.
Nesbitt's Essays and Reviews. 12mo. 28. 6d. Felix de Lisle. Foolscap 8vo. cloth. 4s. 6d. Paul Pry's Third Ramble through the New Moral Gatherings, by the Author of the Listener, 68. World. Gerald, a Tale of Conscience. 2 vols. post Pictorial History of Palestine. Part ix, 28. 60. 8vo. 168.
Pool's Two Lights upon the Altar. ls. Goode's Final Reply to the Edinb. Review. ls. Protestant's Armory. 12mo. cloth. 78. Hare's Victory of Faith and other Sermons. Svo. Sherwood's Indian Orphans. 12mno. 58. 10. Gd.
Sherwood's Former and Latter Rain. 24mo. 2s. Hofacker's Personal Reform. 60.
The English Mother, by a Lady. 12mo. Liturgia Domestica. 18mo. 38.
Tracts of the Anglican Fathers. Part iv. Mc Caul's (Dr.) Sermons. 12mo. 68. 6d.
Trevelyan's No Popery Agitation. 4th edit. lx.
In the Press,
The Life and Remains of the Rev. R. Housmar, Triplicity,
A.B., the founder of St. Anne's, Lancaster.
(The Editor is not to be held responsible for the opinions expressed in this department of
ON THE CHARACTER OF ST. MARTIN, BISHOP OF TOURS, IN
REFERENCE TO THE EIGHTH CHAPTER OF MR. PALMER'S “COMPENDIOUS ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.'
SIR.-As you have given insertion in your last number to some observations of the Rev. Dr. Gilly, on my “ Compendious Ecclesiastical History,” I feel assured that I may anticipate from your sense of justice, a ready admission of what I am about to offer in reply.
It cannot but be a subject of regret to me, that Dr. G. should have observed any thing in my little volume, which seemed to him to demand so public a caution : at the same time, it would be impossible to be “ offended” at criticisms which every one has a right to make ; and though I may not think those of Dr. G. exactly merited, no one can be more ready to applaud his zeal in the cause of religion.
Dr. G. objects that St. Martin, bishop of Tours, was a person unfit to be numbered amongst the “holy men” of the fourth century, inasmuch as he was, either wilfully or blindly, guilty of falsehood in claiming the gift of miracles; and he objects to my words, that “ St. Martin is said to have been enabled to work miracles for the conversion of the heathen."
The objection to St. Martin's veracity, can, of course, only be supported by satisfactory proofs that he himself was guilty of falsehood. The inventions and tales of others ought not to prejudice him. I. is true, as Dr. G. says, that “many signs of the most improbable description are said to have been wrought by him” (p. 215); but surely this is no sufficient ground for condemning St. Martin himself. Dr. G. refers (p. 216) to the Epistle of Sulpicius Severus “Contra æmulos virtutum B. Martini," and to his book, “ De Vita B. Martini," c. 26, in proof that “bishops and clergy who were living in the neighbourhood, .... signified their unbelief of the miracles said to have been performed by Martin." I must say, that the passages referred to, do not seem to me to bear this interpretation. The former merely maintains an objection raised to the sanctity of St. Martin by a “certain person ; " the latter does not allude to any miracles at all. Both passages are insufficient to prove that St. Martin himself pretended falsely to miraculous powers.
Dr. G. states correctly that Sulpicius Severus, in his accounts of the alleged miracles of Martin, occasionally professes to have received them from his own mouth; but whether he really did so receive them, admits, I think, of more than a doubt. The statements of Sulpicius with reference to miracles must be viewed with the greatest suspicion. He is obviously a very credulous writer; nor is it possible to depend on his veracity. We should, I think, hesitate much before we assailed the veracity of Martin on so dubious a testimony.
While, however, we cannot depend on the statements of Sulpicius Severus, it does not seem improbable, that Martin may have really been
permitted to perform signs for the conversion of the heathen. The general impression certainly was, that he did so ; and Sulpicius himself would scarcely have so boldly asserted the fact, if there had been no foundation whatever for it. This is the utmost that I intended to convey in the statement, that “ St. Martin is said to have been enabled to work miracles for the conversion of the heathen.” I confess that it did not occur to me, that these words could have been interpreted as expressive of any belief in the fables of Sulpicius Severus.
With reference to the asceticism objected to Martin, we may admit, if Dr. Gilly pleases, that he carried mortification too far in some instances. Still it was a pardonable error,-a failing on the side of virtue. No good man is exempt from failings; and certainly St. Martin, so conspicuous in the annals of the Church, as THE APOSTLE OF GAUL, ought not, for some indiscretions, to be expunged from the list of eminent men to whom Christianity is indebted.
I remain Sir, &c. Oxford, April 9.
ON RESERVE IN THE COMMUNICATION OF RELIGIOUS
KNOWLEDGE. Sir.—The subject to which your correspondent J. invites our attention, is one on which the orthodox Clergy are at present kept asunder in great measure through misunderstanding. I take the liberty, therefore, of requesting the use of your pages, for the purpose of expressing a few thoughts, which, if they possess no other merit, are dictated I trust by a hearty wish for the removal of such misunderstanding.
I have given to my remarks a title of larger compass than that adopted by your correspondent, because, as every one who has attended to the controversy must be aware, the principle in question is at present recommended in reference to all the higher doctrines of the Faith ; and that of the Atonement merely singled out (for a reason on which I shall afterwards have occasion to touch) by way of illustration. I must also preface what I have to say, by observing that I am not now advocating all that has been put forth on this subject in the Oxford Tracts, which I am far indeed from being prepared to do.
Let us first consider the previous difficulties which arise in our mind against this principle, and after having tried to see our way through them, let us examine on what authority it presents itself to us, and with what modifications it must in any case be adopted.
1. I take it the great stumbling-block to the christian inquirer, in reference to this principle, is a notion that it recognises an amount of esoteric privilege which the Gospel does not recognise. The language of some of the Fathers (and it is their authority on which the controversy has been supposed to turn) is undoubtedly startling, and at first sight repulsive by its hints at the peculiar knowledge and advantages of the initiated. Now, if the principle advocated be fairly open to this objection, there is surely an end of the matter. For if there be one characteristic more peculiarly belonging to Christianity than another, it is, its non-recognition of a privileged class,-its discouragement of